October 20, 2017
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St. John Valley students to participate in U.S. math competition

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FORT KENT, Maine — There will be an American Mathematics Competition held Tuesday, Feb. 4, at University of Maine at Fort Kent.
The 69-year-old American Mathematics Competition is the longest running and most respected mathematics competition in the United States. Participating in the AMC 10 or in AMC 12 is the first step for students to participate in the U.S. Mathematical Olympiad.
The competitions AMC 10 for aspiring seventh or eighth-graders and ninth and 10th-graders, and AMC 12 for grades 11 and 12 is offered nationwide in high schools and at some colleges and  universities on Feb. 4.
A 75-minute competition with well sequenced, challenging problems is an excellent competition for every interested student. The competition does not influence the academic record of the students, the results are confidential — the individual students receive their scores they have the opportunity to go to the nationwide website of the AMC and see, where would their score place on the curve compiled from the result of every individual student.
In this year, the first time the University of Maine at Fort Kent hosts the American Mathematics Competition 10 and 12 for interested students from the St. John Valley area schools. All schools/home schooled students were invited and the students from Wisdom Middle School and High School and the students from Fort Kent Middle School/ High School expressed interest to participate in the competition.
Eva Szillery,  Maine State Director of the American Mathematics Competition, started to coordinate with Maine colleges and universities to offer the AMC Competition for students whose high school is not offering the competition.
Since 2008 the University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Husson University, the Eastern Maine Community Collge, The University of Maine at Presque Isle offered the AMC Competitions- this year UMFK is offering the competition the first time.
While the competition is offered once in every year, its impact on the students’ problem solving skills may change working habits and open the eyes of the students for opportunities in sciences, engineering and other fields all rooted in problem solving.
With the support of the St Johns Valley community Dr Szillery visits the schools in Wisdom and Fort Kent, solve problems and cooperated with the middle schools anf high schools teachers and offered every time additional challenge problems to the students. – The goal of these visit is to have the students see, that the competition starts weeks and months before the actual date of the competition by preparation.
We all look forward to have a pleasant, pressure free experience for the participating students on February 4th, the day of the competition.
After the Winter break and Winter Carnival Dr Szillery will come together with the students and discuss with them the solutions of the problems of the AMC 10 and AMC 12 competition – another important event for the competition, that takes place long after the competition.
The participating students were already invited by the IEEE to come and take part in the Engineering Week Expo in Orono on March 22nd. If the students are interested to come, Dr Szillery would teach them modular origami construction to build, display and explain to other visitors of the expo what they do – on this way the students may show off what they learn in spatial vision from mathematical problem solving and they could be participating exhibitors and visitors of the engineering week expo.
The challenges and hopes for our students does not end here. The students may realize through this experience, how enjoyable is to work on challenging problems without the usual pressures of a learning environment – and they may start solving just two problems a day for their own enjoyment and surprise themselves by the experience and see how far this may take them.
Anyone interested in more benefits of the AMC Competition or problem solving for any age contact Eva Szillery at